Protestants, Social Ethics, and the Poor in Brazil
Imprint: Baylor University Press
Sales Date: 2023-04-01
350 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in
- Published: April 2023
For Professors: Exam Copies
At a time when Latin American Protestantism has increasingly become a force to be reckoned with in the public realm and has attracted growing scholarly interest, this book contributes to the understanding of the sociopolitical relevance of the Protestant presence in Brazilian history and society. Raimundo Barreto argues that progressive Evangélicx Christianity, a branch of Brazilian Christianity that combines charismatic spirituality and sociopolitical progressive action, offers valuable sources for Christian social ethics in contemporary Brazil.
Drawing on the typology proposed by José Míguez Bonino in his Faces of Latin American Protestantism (1993), which examined the Latin American Protestant field through the analogy of fundamental "faces," Protesting Poverty interrogates three Protestant faces—ecumenical, evangelical, and Pentecostal—in the Brazilian context as well as their respective responses to realities of suffering, injustice, and oppression. The common thread of the argument is the search for a Brazilian Protestant social ethics, a progressive Christian sociopolitical praxis in a Protestant key. A spirituality that combines key elements of these three ethical responses is at the root of a theological ethics capable of promoting substantive social transformation that impacts both the individual and society at large.
The interrogation of the three specific Protestant responses to the plight of the poor is thus presented as a map toward a Christian social ethics that can effectively respond to the demands of justice. Barreto adopts an inductive approach that seeks to learn from these specific Brazilian Protestant "faces" to advance what Orlando Espin has called "universally relevant truth claims." At a time when ecumenical relations are being relocated and reinvented to address the conflicts and demands of a new era, this sociohistorical study points to new ecumenical possibilities.
1 Face to Face with the Poor
2 The Role and Significance of Richard Shaull in Latin America
3 The Ecumenical Response
4 The Evangelical Response
5 The Pentecostal Response
6 Towards an Evangélica/o Progressive Social Ethics
The different editions of Raimundo Barreto’s Evangélicos e a Pobreza no Brasil—which provides a significant foundation for Protesting Poverty—represented a watershed contribution to Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking academics and faith leaders all over Latin America. The release of Protesting Poverty solidifies further the transnational significance of Barreto’s work and challenges people in different walks of life to reimagine their stance towards the plight of the oppressed. This new edition is not just a translation of Barreto’s scholarship in Portuguese, though that would be already a great service to English-speaking audiences. Rather, the updated Protesting Poverty stands on its own as a work that engages history, theology, world Christianity, and social ethics in the development of a compelling vision for practicing a Christianity that is indeed committed to justice in material ways.~João Chaves, author of Migrational Religion: Context and Creativity in the Latinx Diaspora
Barreto’s Protesting Poverty: Protestants, Social Ethics, and the Poor in Brazil offers an x-ray analysis of the constellation of Brazilian Protestant theological responses as well as social engagements and disengagements regarding the predicament of the poor. Following Miguez-Bonino’s classic typologies of Latin American Protestants, Barreto honors the diversity and polycentricity of Brazilian Protestant voices. These voices traverse uncharted territory deeply shaped by both the intellectual reflection and praxis of liberation. Barreto unravels their theological and ethical dilemmas and discourses, and he illustrates how these diverse and polycentric voices wrestle with theological heritages, historical and contextual challenges, and the idolatry of power and politics in one of the most powerful economies in the Western Hemisphere. This work is a matrix of Brazilian Protestant social thought in all its diversity, complexity, challenges, and promises.~Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, Frederick E. Roach Professor of World Christianity, Baylor University
Raimundo C. Barreto’s Protesting Poverty is very clear and brings an excellent history of Brazilian Protestantism to help us understand its transformations and conversions throughout Brazil’s past. It also opens a better comprehension of the ecumenical movement among Protestants by addressing catholic trends. Importantly, Barreto demystifies Pentecostalism as the religion of the poor, showing the complexity of the movement.~Ana Maria Bidegain, Professor of Religious Studies, Florida International University